A Reflection on the ‘O Antiphon’ for the 20th of December
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Other) · 20 December 2018
O come now Key of David, come, and open wide our heavenly home,
Make safe the way that leads on high and close the path to misery.
Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.
As today, we pray in our ‘O Antiphon’ – ‘O key of David, come and close the path to misery’ or as another translation expresses it: ‘come and lead the captive free from prison, free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death’ – we reflect that a key both opens and locks a door. What is it that keeps our hearts and lives imprisoned and locked up? What door needs to be opened to free us to live peacefully and trustfully in the Presence of God in the midst of the daily upsets that can occur and all the noise and turmoil of today’s world? Very often it is FEAR in one of its many forms that keeps our hearts and indeed our whole being tightly locked up – it can be some form of insecurity or a lack of confidence in ourselves; some deep hurt from the past that we hold onto that imprisons us; or some deep inner pain from a past experience such as bullying by another; it can be envy or selfishness or pride – the list is endless.
In praying this Antiphon with total trust, we are calling on Christ, the Key of David, to help us become pre-occupied with him and thus to win the victory over whatever it is that imprisons us, and keeps us tightly locked up, because as the Prophet told us long ago – ‘the Virgin is with Child and he will be called Emmanuel – a name which means ‘God is with us’. O yes, he is truly with us every moment of every day of our lives.
O Key of David, we thank you for the wonder of our being (Ps.137) and the miracle of your presence in us
– unlock the door that keeps us bound – make safe the path that leads on high,
close the path that leads to misery, ‘open wide our heavenly home’. Amen.
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